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The Perils of Madness in 8 Languages


One of the best parts of the Calipari era has been the explosion of UK into other countries. Coach Cal has intentionally tried to get UK basketball into the rest of the world and his initiatives are bearing success all over the globe. We have talked a lot about our friend Laodu from Titan Media, who is in Lexington covering the Cats all year for millions of followers in China. Laodu liveblogs games and has a great website in China in which the Cats are covered as THE American college basketball team. The Chinese movement has also been copied in other countries and of course, Calipari’s Madness speech was famously translated into eight different languages.

But there are perils to such translations as well. I got this email from a UK fan in Russia, Constantin Lysakov:


I am Russian, born and raised in Moscow and I have been a fan of University of Kentucky since 1996 when I first attended the game at Rupp Arena. Just about all my friends know about my obsession with the Big Blue but not all of them speak English. So couple days ago when I saw that University of Kentucky was offering Coach Cal’s speech translated into 8 different languages including Russian I was excited. Immediately I thought of posting this video on my Facebook page and in my blog — spreading the good news in whatever way possible. But when I started watching it I could not help it but bust out laughing and vow that none of my Russian friends will ever see it. Coach Cal begins his speech with thanking the Big Blue nation on behalf of his family. The only problem is there are 2 words for “blue” in Russian. One is “goluboi” which is not only used to depict the Carolina blue color but also means “gay”. The other is “siniy” which stands for wide range of colors from Kentucky blue to navy. Unfortunately the translator picked “goluboi” to translate the word blue and Coach Cal began his speech in Russian with thanking The Big Gay nation for their support. And don’t even think about what “Big Blue Madness” sounds like in Russian.

L’amour de Dieu est folie!

Константин Лысаков

Constantin V. Lysakov

So as we can see, sometimes going into other countries may have to be done with some delicate touch. But for now, the hills of Russia are alive with the sound of the approaching Big Gay Nation.

Article written by Matt Jones